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Applied Behavior Analysis


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At Salve Regina University, our master’s degree and certificate program in applied behavior analysis prepares students for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam and promotes a thorough understanding of behavioral science. Our supportive, distinguished faculty guide students in becoming compassionate behavior analysts who assist people with autism and other developmental disabilities. In addition, our programs nurture students’ leadership and practical research skills.

Individuals with a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree in any major are qualified to apply to our applied behavior analysis programs. Evening classes are available at our Newport and Warwick campuses, and we also coordinate sites for practicum placements.

Applied Behavior Analysis (M.A.)

Time to Complete

Two years

Program Format

Evening classes

Application Deadline

July 1 or Nov. 1

Explore Our Programs

Our 12-course master’s degree in applied behavior analysis provides the coursework and practicum experience required to sit for the BCBA certification exam and prepares graduates for leadership roles in the field. Flexible electives allow students to pursue psychology and disability topics related to their personal and professional objectives, while the supervised practicum nurtures students’ clinical skills, preparing them for the practicalities of designing behavioral programs for clients.

We also offer a seven-course certificate and practicum experience for professionals who wish to expand on their prior master’s degree in psychology or a related field. This Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies efficiently assists students in preparing for the BCBA exam.

Qualified psychology majors at Salve Regina are invited to apply to our combined bachelor’s/master’s program and complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years.

Applied Behavior Analysis (M.A.) Courses

12 courses | 36 credits

Required courses:

  • PSY510: Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • PSY520: Concepts and Principles
  • PSY530: Research Methods
  • PSY540: Intervention
  • PSY550: Assessment
  • PSY560: Supervision and Systems
  • PSY590: Advanced Seminar in Behavior Analysis

Students also choose five of the following:

  • HLC505: Interpersonal Helping Skills
  • PSY511: History of Behaviorism
  • PSY513: Educational Psychology
  • PSY521: Health Psychology
  • PSY523: Autism Spectrum and Other Developmental Disabilities
  • PSY525: Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY533: Organizational Behavior Management
  • PSY542: Behavior Analysis and Societal Issues
  • PSY551: Critical Thinking and Decision Making in Psychology
  • PSY570: Intensive Practicum
  • PSY580: Individual Research
  • PSY599: Special Topics
  • RHB508: Human Growth and Development
  • RHB513: Couples and Family Counseling
  • RHB520: Practicum and Seminar I: Motivational Interviewing
  • RHB540: Medical and Psychological Aspects of Disability

View examination pass rates for this program.

Applied Behavior Analysis (CAGS) Courses

7 courses | 21 credits

Required courses:

  • PSY510: Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • PSY520: Concepts and Principles
  • PSY530: Measurement, Data Analysis and Research Design
  • PSY540: Behavior Change Techniques and Procedures
  • PSY550: Behavioral Assessment and Selecting Interventions
  • PSY560: Systems, Management and Supervision
  • PSY590: Advanced Seminar in Behavior Analysis

Certificate students are not required to take supervision credits to obtain the CAGS. However, students must complete 1,500 hours of supervised experience in order to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam. Students may meet this requirement by taking six credits of PSY570: Intensive Practicum.

Learn more about costs, financing and success rates for this program.

Prepare for BCBA Certification

For applied behavior analysis practitioners, BCBA certification is required for professional licensure in several states, including Rhode Island. The BCBA credential connects the high-quality education our students receive to greater professional pathways in applied behavior analysis.

Our applied behavior analysis course sequence has been verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International to meet the coursework requirements needed to take the BCBA certification exam. Applicants for certification will need to meet additional requirements to qualify.

Applied behavior analysis is one of the fastest-growing areas in psychology, and BCBA certification could uplift the careers of many human services professionals, including special education teachers, social workers, behavior technicians and clinical researchers.

Learn More About Salve Regina’s Applied Behavior Analysis Programs

Our applied behavior analysis programs empower students to fill the need for board-certified behavior analysts in a variety of settings.

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Program Spotlight: Jesse Perrin

Jesse Perrin, who earned his master's degree in applied behavior analysis from Salve Regina in 2017, said he was able to truly study, learn and grow into this ever-expanding field through the professors he encountered.

 The connections that I made while going to Salve … are connections within the field of behavior analysis that not only taught me a great deal in terms of coursework, but it's a nice complement as well when you can work with them once you become a behavior analyst.